Relief of primary dysmenorrhea by supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids

Demirturk F., Gungor T., Demirturk F., Akbayrak T., Aker E.

PAIN CLINIC, vol.14, no.1, pp.81-84, 2002 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Doi Number: 10.1163/156856902760189223
  • Journal Name: PAIN CLINIC
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.81-84
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: No


Dysmenorrhea is the leading cause of recurrent short-term school absenteeism among female adolescents. Primary dysmenorrhea is believed to be prostaglandin mediated. It is currently treated by hormonal and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents. Because of the side effects and compliance problems of the drugs, alternative methods like TENS and acupuncture have become popular in recent years. Fish oil (omega-3) is not accepted as a drug, but there are reports in literature about the improvement of dysmenorrhea symptoms by fish oil usage. In our study, we evaluated 44 young girls aged 15-19 who suffered from dysmenorrhea symptoms. For two months they used only oral analgesics and during the following two months we gave them fish oil (omega-3) and allowed them to use oral analgesics if they needed. When we compared the results, days with school absenteeism, amount of oral analgesics used and VAS scores of the patients were significantly lower in the two months during which fish oil (omega-3) was used.